What I really want is a distraction free device. Back in the 1980’s I really wanted a TRS-80 100 portable computer. It was a simple, all in one computer that had a 40×8 line text display. However, in 2017, this is just a horribly outdated device that commands a very steep price, well over $100 for a working model. I wanted something affordable, practical, modern enough to work with modern computers, and, most importantly, be distraction free.
I heard about dana word processors in the past and finally found a model that really met all my needs, the dana wireless. It is a Palm based device, released in the mid 00’s, I am very familiar with Palm devices and it has 2 SD slots and USB connectivity and USB printing. It meets all of my needs, and then some. The device also has a wireless connection, but I really have not tried that, since I wanted something to create on without the distraction of Facebook, twitter, and a host of other distractions. Best of all, a good, working, clean model can be had for less than $25, shipped.
This whole post was written in just a few minutes on the dana. I have really missed a single tasking device, like a word processor. Yes, it is a full fledged Palm based device, but I don’t have to use any of these features. I can just press the Memo button and start typing. I also installed a 128mb SD card, so I don’t have to worry about dead batteries and I can easily plug the SD card into any modern computer.
The device is fairly light, about 2.5 lbs, and runs off of 3 AA batteries. The rated battery life is 20 hours, but I will see how that works out in real life. The keyboard is full sized and has a nice travel and click. The most endearing feature is when it sends files to your computer, via USB. When you plug the dana in, it emulates a USB keyboard. Just open a document, select the transfer speed, and the text in the document gets ‘typed’ to the screen. It really is cool to watch, and makes text transfers possible to ANY computer with USB.
I’ll update this post as I spend more time with the little word processor, but so far, it has already exceeded my expectations.
September 16, 2017
Modified the dana to have internal NiMH batteries.
The battery indicator now show the correct levels. When regular AA are installed, looking for 1.5V instead of 1.25 volts. This should allow the dana to be useful for years to come. I can now charge the unit and, if the batteries fail, simply replace them with a new set in a few years.